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MNUser

Crane Lake to Kettle Falls to Ash River and back to Crane Lake

15 posts in this topic

Has anybody on here done that ride?

"Crane Lake to Kettle Falls to Ash River and back to Crane Lake"

I'm thinking about taking my 11 year old to Crane Lake this weekend and doing that loop with him. Are there places to grab a bite to eat on Ash River before heading back to Crane Lake?

I know they have had more snow than us and the riding would be good. It seems to be about 65-70 miles round trip.

Can anybody gives some info? Thanks!

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Should be a very doable ride, trails are always in good shape out that way but can be a bit bumpy from Ash River to Kettle Falls sometimes, I don't know what this year is like. I think we usually stopped at the Frontier Resort for a bite to eat but there should be a few places open along the Ash River. Keep your eyes open for them sneaky National Forest fellas, they like to hide in the shadows of the islands or shoot ya with a radar gun from them fish houses out there.

Give us a report when you get back...... if you go.

Mike

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Should not be a problem at all. I just called up to the resort I base out of and they just got about 8" of new snow the past two days. The trail going out of Namakan up to Kettle can be pretty bumpy but it's not too long and worth it once you arrive. If you have not been there in the winter before you can drive your sled right up to the top of the dam where they have a nice observation deck. There are three resports on the Ash River that have food. The Frontier will be the first you see and then Ash-Ka-Nam just past it and Ash Trail Lodge about a mile further. Not too sure about the food at Frontier but I can assure you the other two have a lot of options, very good food and friendly staff.

Both the interior land trails and lake should be very good riding! Have fun and give us a report when you return.

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I've done that ride many many times. It's an easy ride. It's even easier if you take the lake trail, which I suggest for at least one of the legs. I think Kettle Falls Hotel is closed this year but you can still stop to stretch your legs and looks around at the dam. As deisel stated there are 3 resorts you can get a bit to eat at and all have good food. I suggest Ash Ka Nam. It's less crowded at lunch, usually, than the Frontier and the view from the lodge is better.

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I just got back from there last night. I stayed at Ash Ka Nam Resort and the people there were great. We ate at several different places, Ash Ka Nam, Orr, Thunderbird and a couple of others. I wasn't watching the map so I just followed along for the ride, finding a place to stop was not a problem. The trails were in great shape when I left, a few icey corners but well groomed everywhere we went. Have fun.

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You are correct that the Kettle hotel is not open. They are only open in the summer months. The trail will come out on the Namakan or high side of the dam. You need to follow the road around up a small hill and then down to the lower or Rainy Lake side of the dam. From there you should see the trail that heads up to the dam observation area.

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MNUser,

It's a nice ride - lake trails should be good but portages will be ruff from the Namakan side to Kettle Falls. No groomer has been there yet and I hear it's pretty "up and down" meaning moguls. Maybe the park will have groomed before your trip.

As stated, Kettle Falls Hotel is NOT OPEN so don't plan on a warm-up there. Still, a great sight to see - as long as you are prepared for the ride.

As far as the Ash River services - Frontier, Ash Ka Nam and Ash Trail Lodge all offer great food and beverages plus gasoline fill-up. Usually friendly, helpful service all along the Ash Trail.

Hope you have a great ride - check back w/ an up date!

LET IT SNOW

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We had a GREAT ride. The trails were perfect from Crane Lake to Ash River. We had lunch on the river. Great food.

The trail to Kettle Falls was rough and bumpy. We did not go all the way to the Falls. We turned around and rode back to Crane Lake on the north trail and the trail was perfect. There was 4-5 inches on new snow on the lake so you could find a nice line.

We did not see as many sleds as I thought we would. It was a perfect day till we got home.

Slipped pushing the trailer back into it's home and the tongue jack caught we in the left ribs and broke two of them. 2 hours in the ER last night and resting is now the name of the game for a while. Thinking 4-6 weeks till I'm back to 80%.

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OOOOOOOOhh, ouch! Bad way to end a good day! We are heading up Thursday for 4 days, I hope you left some good trails for us!

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BUMMER!!! That sux but atleast the riding was great, thats a pretty good poke to go from Kettle to the Falls on Rainy, good thing there usually aren't any speed traps whistle on that run.

One thing I've learned over the years is that you can't write off that country up there when the weather turns, we get some rain, they get a foot of snow..... go figure! We get 20 below, they get 45 below, yep! fell for that one too...... BRRRR! doesn't describe it.

Thanks for the report!

Mike

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bummer on those ribs

the bad part is theres nothng you can do bout

but let em heal

good luck ta ya

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Game wardens are writing tickets like crazy over on the bill morgan trail. They sit right on the big hill where you turn on to the trail from the arrowhead (heading toward Ash Riv.)

Arrowhead was good. Although the trails are REALLY icy and lots of corners are bad.

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Them wardens, love to sit at trails and road crossings, where you must stop. They like the easy money and ticket writing They are sticklers when it comes to registrations, and trail tags. I'd rather see them target careless riders and speed demons, where lives are involved, not to many safety problems where they love to lounge around at trail/road crossings.

guts

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The area that Sled is talking about is a spot many people like to crack the throttle though. It's a fairly long straight stretch with rolling hills. If you're going fast enough you can catch some air cresting the hills, or so I'm told. whistle

The other spot they like to sit is on the beaver pond at Gold Portage between Kab and Black Bay. One of the C.O. also likes to stake out the islands in Black Bay for people speeding when they come out of the portage. Then there's the intersection of the Hagerman and the Arrowhead. that's another long straight stretch where speed can be an issue.

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